Saturday, 10 February 2018

Zika antibody developed by Singapore company ready for human trials

A first-in-class monoclonal antibody for Zika, called Tyzivumab, is ready for human trials after only nine months of development, announced Tychan, a Singapore clinical-stage biotechnology company.

Tyzivumab targets the surface-exposed envelope (E) protein of the virus to stop it from fusing with host cells and prevent viral replication. It has been proven safe and effective in animals, according to Tychan in a media release.

The first patient dose will take place on Thursday, after getting the green light from Singapore's Health Sciences Authority. A total of 24 healthy volunteers will take part in Phase 1a of the clinical trial, said Tychan, adding that two more phases are likely to follow before the antibody is ready for patients’ use.


Number of dengue cases falls to 16-year low

The number of dengue cases in 2017 was 2,772, the lowest in the last 16 years, the National Environment Agency (NEA) announced.

In a media release, NEA said this “relatively low number” is likely to have been facilitated by the immunity of the local population following the high number of dengue cases in the last few years and Zika outbreak in the second half of 2016.

NEA also identified the removal of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes by NEA’s network of Gravitraps deployed across the island as another contributing factor to the lower number of dengue cases.


Scam warning: SkillsFuture Singapore credit will NOT expire

Has someone knocked on your door asking you to sign up for SkillsFuture courses because your credits will expire?

That information is false and it goes against guidelines issued to training providers, said SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) in a notice on Thursday (Feb 8).

All Singaporeans aged 25 and above receive a S$500 credit from the Government to attend courses by approved training providers, as part of a national movement to encourage lifelong learning. SSG made clear that the credits will not expire.

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Fridges stocked with free food warm Yishun South residents’ hearts

Two fridges, one for halal food, were set up last Sunday to aid residents who live in rental flats at Blk 508B, Yishun South.

The fridges are filled with fresh produce, including eggs, spring onions and apples.

Some were harvested from the nearby community gardens, which are also free for the residents to use, while the rest were donated by other residents.

Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah told TNP this initiative will continue for three months, adding: "We chose not to lock the fridges up for the time being because most people are sensible, and I like to think we can trust them to act in good faith."

This is the second known place where free food is available for its residents. Tampines started the project last year.


Alzheimer's disease: The power of learning a second language

Learning a second language really can slow the rate of mental decline in patients with Alzheimer's disease, the first study of its kind has revealed.

Being fluent in two or more tongues stops patients of the devastating disease from eventually being robbed of their memory.

MRI scans of patients with Alzheimer's showed they retained more of their gray matter in crucial brain areas if they were bilingual.